ACFL Division 3 - Round 2: Longwood 1-8 Ballinlough 1-14
In a repeat of last season's IFC final, Ballinlough gained a modicum of revenge with a deserved win over Longwood on Friday evening.
February 1st may mark the official beginning of Spring but it certainly didn't feel like it to the few hardy souls who attended the game. Indeed, I would have posted this report much sooner but I had to wait for the feeling to return to my fingers!
Longwood must be given credit, despite playing their second game in just 5 days, for a much improved performance when compared to their first round showing. There is no point in continually beating the drum about missing our county players, we are simply going to have to live with that, but additional injuries to Evan Coyle and Sean Sheridan created further selection headaches for the management team.
Nevertheless the boys who took to the field performed with great credit, particularly in the opening half. One fantastic move saw Aaron Ennis drive at the heart of the Ballinlough defence before laying off the ball to Ryan Moore who finished the ball to the back of the net with a nonchalant flick of his left boot.
Another highlight was the exhibition of high fielding given by midfielder Sean Coloe. On at least five occasions Coloe soared highest to secure marks for his team - it was great to witness one of the fundamental skills of our game being mastered by one of our own.
Trailing by just a point at halftime, Longwood struggled to maintain the pace in the second half. In fairness they did fashion a number of chances but some wayward shooting meant they couldn't put enough pressure on Ballinlough who saw out the game well.
So despite losing there opening two games, Longwood have no need to feel despondent. There were signs of improvement from the opening round and if they can continue to build from game to game then their fortunes will surely change sooner rather than later.
Longwood: Jarlath Cully, Coran Byrne, Vinny Byrne, Enda Dixon, Jacob Baldwin, Joey Stenson, Karl Ennis, Niall Mulvey (0-1), Sean Coloe (0-1), Aaron Ennis (0-2), Ryan Moore (1-3), JP Mullen, Gary Heneghan, Jim Dorran, David Rowley (0-1). Subs: Brendan Hanna for David Rowley.